The all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ 3.7 AWD model is the first vehicle from the new dedicated Lincoln Design Studio and sales have been increasing every month since its introduction. The all-new MKZ 3.7 AWD model that I tested represents the reinvented Lincoln in both style and substance: stunning design wrapped around intuitive, focused technology, high-performance with a fun-to-drive attitude, new levels of luxury, innovation, comfort and safety not found on other luxury sport sedans, no matter the price.
Standard equipment include a 2.0 liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine, SYNC with MyLincoln touch driver connect technology, Lincoln Drive Control, a unique push-button shift, remote start, LED headlights and taillights and a 60/40 split rear seat with center pass thru. The all-new MKZ features nine class-exclusive innovations, six of which are standard: push-button shift, LED headlamps, a 10.1 inch LCD instrument cluster, Active Noise Control, an 8-inch color touch screen and Easy Fuel capless fuel filler. Options included in my test MKZ included a retractable roof offering a 15.2 square-foot glass panel, one of the largest rooftop openings available and multicontour front seats with Active Motion massage. Unfortunately I didn’t have that option in my test MKZ. The standard Lincoln Drive Control system encompasses the performance of multiple systems including the suspension, steering and noise control, delivering an up level drive experience with a refined smooth ride. The new push-button shift replaces the traditional mechanical transmission shift lever with a contemporary five-button interface and dramatically opens up the floating center console. The Lincoln-exclusive THX II Certified Audio System is world-class and offers 700-watts, 14-channels and 14-speakers. Finally the all-new MKZ is the only sedan in its class to offer inflatable outboard rear seatbelts. This reduces pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion and reduce the risk of injuries.
The exterior styling of the new MKZ is pure Lincoln from the wide 62.3 inch front track, to the chrome double-wing grille and a lower air-intake surrounded with chrome. At the sides of the new grille are Adaptive LED lamps that turns in the direction of the car for increased safety when driving at night. The lower bumper also contains the new strip of LED lamps while underneath is a flat bottom to help better manage airflow. From the side are steeply raked windshield A-pillars, a sweeping roofline and lengthened backlight with a height of just 58.2 inches, give the car a sleek, sexy look. The aero-styled sideview mirrors feature heating/self-dimming/repeater signal/puddle lamp elements and are held in place with chrome arms. The long greenhouse features four-windows and is surrounded with a thick chrome strip. A character line runs from the front flared fenders through the chrome pull-out door handles to the rear fenders. Deep side extensions lower the center of gravity enhancing stability and turning prowess. The rear shows a full-width double-strip of LED brake/tail/backup lights, a black lower bumper with diffuser underneath and dual, chrome finished exhaust outlets at the sides. It is a unique look that brings the all-new MKZ to the cutting edge of today’s automotive styling.
The interior is pure luxury surround me and my passengers with soft-to-the-touch materials, rich leather, chrome, brushed aluminum and brown swirl walnut veneers. The sporty leather-wrapped, power tilt/telescopic/heated steering wheel feels perfect in my hands. It features redundant controls for the monster THX audio system, Bluetooth interface, and radar-sensing cruise control. Each button is ringed in chrome for that luxury touch. The 10.1 inch LCD instrument cluster is reconfigurable and simple to use for retrieving vital information. The speedometer and tachometer are large and very easy on the eyes, day or night. Since there is no stick shifter but easy-to-use push-button shift and start/stop, it opens up the center console and center stack. The center console looks like it is floating with dual cupholders, front storage slot and rear storage bin that features stitched leather and lots of storage space. Under the center panel is a long, wide, sectioned flat space to store any items that I might need. Rubber inserts on the flat bottom keep my items from moving around. The center stack is also very unique and innovative. The 8-inch touch screen features the color navigation map, audio system, dual-zone climate control and phone interface. The touch screen is easy to understand and operate. Down below are two hepatic lines-one for the audio system’s speaker control and the fan speed for the automatic climate control system. Just a swipe of my finger raised or lowered the sounds, then increasing or lessening the fan speed. It works great and precisely. The 10-way power seats feature power lumbar supports for me and my front passenger. These sport bucket seats are very comfortable and very supportive during spirited driving times. Even each of the front seat controls are ringed in chrome. The 15.2-square-foot retractable panoramic roof’s glass panel is fantastic when I pushed the button on the overhead console. When closed it even features a power opening/closing sunshade to keep the sun’s rays out when needed. Lincoln’s Active Noise Control really works. When all of the windows and panoramic sunroof are closed you can hear a pin drop. The THX Certified Audio System just sings so strong and clear, it is amazing, just like as if I were watching a movie in a large theater.
Standard equipment and options not mentioned above inside includes all express power windows, power door locks, 3-driver memory, heated/ventilated front bucket seats, self-dimming rearview mirror, 2-12-volt plugs, 1-110-volt plug, dual map lights, sunglass holder, remote power opening/closing trunk, dual lighted vanity mirrors, rain-sensing wipers/washers, heated rear seats with a separate thermostat, remote keyless entry with intelligent access, active park assist, rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping system, remote start, electronic parking brake, THX Certified HDD AM/FM, SYNC with MYLINCOLN TOUCH voice activation, USB/iPod/Gracenote, etc. music interface, front aluminum door guards, Hill Start Assist, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, storage slots in each door, rear pull-out armrest with dual cupholders/storage bin, thick cut-pile carpeting with front/rear/cargo floor mats. Each of these standard and options make the all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ on par with any other true luxury sedan.
The all-new MKZ’s powertrain and driveline are also excellent. My test MKZ came equipped with the 3.7 liter, DOHC, 24-valve, all-aluminum V6 with intake variable camshaft timing for excellent low-end power delivery. This potent powerplant is smooth and quiet as it produces 300hp at 6,500rpm and 277lb.ft. of torque at just 4,000rpm. It is mated to Ford’s reliable 6F-50 six-speed SelectShift automatic all-wheel-drive transmission with paddle shift actuation. With all-four wheels making traction it gives the MKZ amazing stability on dry or wet pavement. The MKZ zooms out to 60mph from a standstill in just 6.2sec. The Lincoln Drive Control is an automatic system that delivers an ideal balance of a smooth ride with confident handling as it intuitively responds to my commands and the road. Always on and standard, Lincoln Drive Control orchestrates the performance of the Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension, the electronic power-assisted steering and the Active Noise Control Systems. This results in an excellent combination of a refined ride and engaging driving dynamics. CCD contributes to Lincoln Drive Control’s transparent action by ‘reading’ the road and adjusting the shocks within 20 milliseconds to precisely tune, refine and balance to deliver more controlled handling with a smoother ride. CCD offers three modes that can be programed into the computer-Sport, Normal and Comfort. The fully independent suspension features MacPherson struts, aluminum control arms and a stabilizer up front and an advanced multi-link rear setup with coil springs, and stabilizer bar in the rear. Standard AdvanceTrac and Electronic Stability Control help keep me on line during very spirited driving. The electronic power-assisted rack & pinion steering system is very responsive to my inputs, has a great feel for the road with excellent on-center feel. It is boosted just right when looking for a parking space and becomes progressively heavier as my speed increases.
Quickly and safely slowing the new MKZ down from speed are large, power-assisted steel disc brakes. Up front are 12.4 inch vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.4 inch solid discs clamped with large single-piston calipers in the rear. Standard ABS and standard AdvanceTrac help keep me from getting into trouble when going into a turn at too high a speed and when braking hard on wet or slick pavement. The MKZ with the 3.7 liter V6 rides on large 19X8 inch polished 18-spoke painted aluminum wheels wrapped with Michelin 245/40R19 inch high-performance, low profile Primacy tires.
Standard safety features include front dual-stage airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver/front passenger knee airbags, front/rear safety canopy, 5-3-point seatbelts with front pretensioners/load limiters; 5-adjustable head restraints, perimeter anti-theft system, SOS post-crash notification and steel beam in each door plus front/side crumple zones.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ